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Crowds and organisational issues spell the end for decade-long protest and fun ride

Cyclists in Melbourne have stripped off today for the last World Naked Bike Ride to be held in the city.

Having run for a decade, organisers say the event is to close, because "cycling and cycling awareness has become a full time job, not just one day a year.”

Cyclists wore helmets but little else to take part in the 15km route around the city, aiming to promote cycle safety awareness and ecological issues.

More than 100 people took part, and the route was released just 24 hours in advance.

Many painted political slogans on their bodies.

Organiser Dallas Goldburg told The Age that the event would be the last, because it was a "lot of work" to organise.

"I see the vision of the World Naked Bike Ride in Melbourne has changed over the years," he said.

"The crowd is also a bit of an issue.”

Last year we reported how Blair Delson and Ross Cohen were posing for their wedding day photos in Philadelphia, when they were surprised to see over 3,000 naked cyclists come round the corner.

Rather than wait for them to pass by, the couple made the most of the opportunity.

The couple were in Dilworth Plaza, next to City Hall, when they heard the cyclists approaching.

"We saw them, and I sprinted in my heels and my wedding gown and decided to get in on the action,” said Delson. “We thought it was hilarious."

As the couple posed for pics, they high-fived the nude cyclists, many of whom cheered them as they rode past. The photos ‘captured the moment perfectly,' said Cohen. “When it's your day, just love life and embrace the moment,” he added.

Last May, in the UK, we reported how a man hoping to take taking part in the Canterbury leg of the World Naked Bike Ride yesterday was told to put his trousers back on and leave the event before it began – after getting “overexcited.”

The cathedral city in Kent was hosting its edition of the event, designed to highlight both the vulnerability of cyclists and the effects on the environment of fossil fuels, for the third year.

According to a witness, ''Everyone was taking their clothes off to get ready for the ride. I heard gasps and I turned around – it was a horrible sight.

"It's fair to say he was overexcited and got aroused. It looked like he was enjoying the event a bit too much.

"One of the organisers went over to him and told him to put his trousers on while speaking on a walkie-talkie to police.

"The man looked sheepish when he was spoken to by the police."

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.